5 Ways To Minimize Your Rental Property’s Energy Bills This Summer
March 24, 2023
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It’s March, which means summer is right around the corner.
While most of us love the weather and can’t wait for more sunshine, summer is also a time when energy bills can soar if you’re not careful.
So, in this article, we’re going to look at 5 ways to minimize your property’s energy bills during the summer.
Tip #1: Adjust the Thermostat
Adjusting your thermostat is a great way to maximize savings on energy bills in the summer. Here are several tips on how to set your thermostat to save money:
- The U.S. Department of Energy recommends setting your thermostat to 78°F (26°C) when you’re at your place and need cooling. If you’re leaving your home for more than a few hours, you can set it a few degrees higher to save even more energy. We would recommend setting it a few degrees lower in both scenarios because that temperature isn’t typically comfortable.
- If you have a programmable thermostat, setting it to automatically adjust the temperature when you’re not at your rental can save money. This can help you save energy, especially because it’s easy to forget to change the temperature manually.
- Smart thermostats learn your schedule and adjust the temperature accordingly. They can also be controlled remotely using a smartphone app, which makes it easy to adjust on the go.
Tip #2: Limit the use of Heat-Generating Appliances
Most of us have several heat-generating appliances in our homes and rentals. Thus, during the summer, limiting the usage of these appliances can help save money on energy bills. And here are some specific tips on how to do just that:
- Cooking outside on a grill or using a portable stovetop keeps heat out of your home and reduces your need for a lot of air conditioning.
- Using a microwave to cook meals instead of the oven, which generates a lot of heat, saves energy and can help lower your bill.
- Doing laundry at night or early in the morning when it’s cooler helps lower the heat generated by your dryer and washing machine.
- Consider air drying your clothes. Hang clothes outside on a clothesline or use an indoor drying rack.
- Avoid using large appliances like dishwashers during the hottest parts of the day. Use them early in the morning or late at night when it’s cooler.
- Turn off electronics when they’re not in use. Electronics generate heat, so turning them off as much as possible can help lower the temperature in your rental.
Tip #3: Use Windows Properly
There are several things related to windows you can do to help reduce your energy bill during the summer. Let’s look at several below:
- Close curtains and blinds during the day to limit sunlight and prevent your rental from heating up. This can help keep your rental cooler and lower the need for air conditioning.
- Consider using blackout curtains or shades to block out even more sunlight. These curtains can help keep your home cooler and reduce your energy bills.
- Open windows at night to let cool air in. Then, in the morning, close them to prevent hot air from getting in.
- Consider using reflective window film on your windows to reflect sunlight away from your rental.
- Dust and dirt can accumulate on curtains and blinds, making them less effective at blocking out sunlight. Thus, it’s important to keep them clean to ensure they’re working at their best.
Tip #4: Use Fans
Ceiling and floor fans help keep your rental cooler in the summer months. Below are some tips on how to effectively use these:
- Ceiling fans help circulate cool air from your air conditioner and keep your rental cooler.
- Use fans in rooms around the rental to keep cool air flowing. Ceiling fans don’t lower the overall temperature in a room, but they can make you feel three to four degrees cooler by creating a wind chill effect (which means you don’t need to use as much air conditioning).
- Set your ceiling fan to spin counterclockwise during the summer to create a downward draft of air. This creates a wind chill effect that can help rooms feel cooler.
- Keep fans clean to ensure they’re working at their absolute best. Accumulated dust and dirt will impede fans’ ability to circulate air.
Tip #5: Seal Air Leaks
Sealing air leaks is another way to reduce your energy bills during the summer. Here are some related tips to help you with this:
- Look for air leaks around windows, doors, electrical outlets, and pipes that enter or exit your rental. You can use a candle or incense stick to find drafts, or you can use a thermal imaging camera to locate areas of your rental losing heat.
- Use caulk and weatherstripping to seal air leaks around windows and doors. Caulk is a sealant that fills gaps between stationary parts of your place like the frame of a window. On the other hand, weatherstripping is used to seal gaps between movable parts like the bottom of a door.
- Install door sweeps on the lower part of exterior doors to seal gaps. Door sweeps are strips of material attached to the bottom of a door to prevent drafts.
- Use foam gaskets to seal air leaks around electrical outlets and foam spray to seal air leaks around pipes.
Saving money during the summer requires some effort, but that effort is worth the savings.
In this article, we’ve looked at how to make your energy bill lower in the hotter months. By following the tips and guidelines discussed, you can reduce your energy bills during the hotter months.
For more helpful tips when renting, check out our tenant handbook here.